Life and Death in Bird World…

18 July 2022

We are going to start off with the good news…a hatch! Sydney’s Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre is giving the official hatch time of WBSE 29 at 1426. There is also a pip in WBSE30’s egg.

Beautiful Lady. By the time we wake up tomorrow morning there should be two healthy White-bellied Sea Eaglets in this nest getting ready to bop and bob.

I thought I might make it through Sunday evening without finding out about another Osprey death. Not so. A much loved male Osprey of a long time mated pair in Bitterroot Valley, Montana was shot with a soft bullet and died. Local animal right’s activists have issued a reward for the identity of the shooter.

Shootings of protected raptors are on the rise in the area. There were 7 last year and already there are 5 this year in this single area of Montana. Reports from wildlife rehab clinics often cite either shootings or – heavy lead toxins due to the eating of prey with bullet fragments – as the major reason for eagles to be in care or dying.

It is, of course, illegal to shoot a protected species but, it doesn’t seem to matter. It has happened in my City, all over the US, in various countries in the EU such as France and Malta. And, of course, there are the ongoing issues in the UK on the private estates where grouse hunting is permitted.

https://mtstandard.com/news/state-and-regional/bitterroot-osprey-shooting-leaves-activists-looking-for-answers/article_fe7ff6c8-f90b-535f-98b6-9a3826e123ee.html?fbclid=IwAR3qVHQb8gMmqRYhFw6CQZX24PHNfYuaFMh57p_EOndiZBTT7NLxDI5dwno


There is good news coming out of the Osoyoos nest. One look at the image reveals the remains of a large fish still on the nest. ‘A-M’ mentioned on the chat that both chicks had eaten well today and Little Bob even had a really full crop. Apparently both parents brought in 2 big fish. It is wonderful to see Mum with a big crop, too. Oh, we could not ask for anything better coming out of the heat in the area. Fantastic.

With all the sadness, the fact that this nest got 2 great big fish and everyone is full and there is still fish is something to celebrate. I wanted fish to fall from the sky but coming in from the lake is just as good.

To also put a smile on your face, Lilibet at the Fraser Point nest of Andor and Mama Cruz had something to say to the fox cub that keeps getting on her nest! And she was very vocal about it.

There is other good news. The youngest osplet of the trio at Llyn Clywedog fledged at 10:22 on Sunday the 17th. Congratulations Dylan and Seren for another successful year and to all those at Llyn Clywedog in Wales.

Seren on one perch and two of the fledglings on the other perch.

The two osplets on the Llyn Brenig nest in Wales have not fledged. They certainly have grown since I last checked on them! Mom looks happy and I bet that fish Dad brought in really tasted good.

Dorcha looking over her two osplets as the sun was setting on Loch Arkaig.

and dawn over Loch Arkaig. I has been impossible to tell how Dorcha is doing. Hopefully she will go for a good swim and get the blood off from her injury – continuing good thoughts for her to heal quickly.

The area is so beautiful.

The Glaslyn Valley nest of Aran and Mrs G is so very different than Loch Arkaig and Loch of the Lowes. The cows and the sheep make the entire scene look like it could be a 17th century painting.

At the Loch of the Lowes, one of the fledglings slept ‘adult style’ on the nest perch all night. There is another (or two?) osprey/s on the dead tree at centre left. Where is everyone else? Laddie? Blue NC0?

Later. Waiting for a delivery!

Dad delivers fish to the Janakkdan Osprey nest on a regular basis. Here is the last delivery for the 17th at 19:28. The osplets will take turns self-feeding.

I have not seen the female on the nest for some hours – from 1900 to 0700. The chicks have not fledged. Some on the chat questioned if she has begun her migration. No, it is too early. Let us hope that she is well.

It is possible there is a perch and Mum is there. She was on the nest at noon today. Both chicks appear to be capable of eating on their own. One better than the other but it has had more practice.

‘H’ reports that it is Smooth Dogfish Shark for breakfast at the Mispillion Harbour Osprey nest! Dad brought in two in quick succession. Everyone was hungry – one fledgling trying to self-feed and the other being fed by Mum who eventually feeds both.

While the ospreys in Delaware were enjoying their Smooth Dogfish Sharks, Karl II was delivering large fish to the Karula National Forest Black storkling nest – that includes Bonus, the adopted storklet of Jan and Janikka. I am so happy that the four are doing so well and so grateful to Urmas for his fish basket! Thank you, Urmas.

The camera was down at Glacier Gardens for part of the 17th. NitBot reports that there were four fish deliveries with Peace getting 1 fish and Love seeming to get the other 3. It is so hard to see the eaglets – is it condensation on the camera? and the cars racing up and down that road are making me nervous. But…Liberty and Freedom know best!

There is no word yet on what caused the 9 day old osplet of Tom and Audrey at the Chesapeake Conservancy to suddenly die. Will keep you posted on any news. Its death was entirely unexpected. There was lots of fish and it was eating well.

Everything seems to be fine for Dory and Skiff and their three osplets on Hog Island in Maine.

Here is a short video of Dory feeding the three just a short while ago.

Like everywhere else, it has been hot and stormy on the Canadian Prairies. If you are in an area of high heat and have shallow bowls (no deeper than 2 or 3 inches), put some water in them if you do not have a bird bath. All manner of raptor are coming to cool down including the local crows and owls – even the rabbits have been in to drink water and get in the shade of the lilacs and ‘the bush tunnels’. I will try to get a photo if I can but Mr Crow was on top of the sunroom/greenhouse this morning telling me that he wanted breakfast!

An osprey expert in the UK told me that never rule out dehydration in the death of Ospreys. He was talking about Molate. But, remember that all of the birds can suffer in the heat without water!

The image below is (I believe) Hedwig’s baby. It is really cropped and blown up – the rabbit is tiny. Those are dandelion leaves and they are not long. He thought he was hiding behind some of the builder’s garbage! But we saw you, cutie pie. Caught in the act. You can eat all of the dandelion leaves you want!

This is Hedwig the Elder over eating the seeds that the birds spill everywhere! What they are really enjoying are the tender shoots.

Bye Hedwig!

Hedwig and Little Hedwig took off together to go to their burrow which is across the back lane underneath a garage.

It has been a week since Victor was rescued. I have not seen an update but it is early in California. Looking forward to some news. Things are rather quiet in Bird World — and goodness, gosh, golly…quiet is welcome. There will be more fledges in the UK and another baby Sea Eagle tomorrow. Something to look forward to….

Thank you for being with me today. Take care Everyone. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen captures: Sydney Sea Eagles@Birdlife Australia Discovery Centre, Osoyoos Ospreys, Explore.org and IWS, CarnyXwild, Llyn Brenig Ospreys, Friends of Loch Arkaig, People’s Postcode Lottery, and the Wildlife Trust, Bywyd Gwyllt Glaslyn, Friends of Loch of the Lowes, Finnish Osprey Foundation, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys and the DDNR, Eagle Club of Estonia, Glacier Gardens, Chesapeake Conservancy, and Explore.org and Audubon.

Update on Victor…and other Saturday news in Bird World

9 July 2020

All attention has been on the Fraser Point Bald Eagle nest of Papa Andor and Mama Cruz on Santa Cruz Island. Victor and Lillibet fledged on 30 June. On the 8th of July, Victor flew onto the nest around 1038 on 8 July exhausted and appearing to be in distress. Since then issues with his left leg have been noticed.

Santa Cruz is part of the Channel Islands and lucky for Victor, falls under the care of Dr Sharpe. If you watched both the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta or the Two Harbours net of Chase and Cholyn, you will know that Dr Sharpe and his team rescued eaglets that tumbled off the nest and also ringed the eaglets. Victor could not be in better care.

This is the latest announcement by Dr Sharpe:

Margit the Estonian Golden eaglet of Kalju and Helju and fledged today. What an amazing first flight from the nest in the Sooma National Park. She was 75 days old. This is the video of her first flight.

This is the link to the Golden Eagle cam in case you do not have it.

The whole family is home at the Bald Eagle nest on Gabriola Island.

When Louis arrived with a nice live fish on the Loch Arkaig nest, only the two osplets were home. There was already an old fish on the nest – quite a nice one. Louis moves the old fish to the side of the nest. Meanwhile one of the kids amuses itself with the fish breathing and doing little jumps. It attempts self-feeding. Dorcha arrives with a big branch and immediately sees the fresh fish and – everyone had lots of fish for their tea time meal.

The new little peanut on the Chesapeake Conservancy nest is staying warm and dry under Mum Audrey. They are having some rain today. Hopefully it moves along quickly!

It is raining in Finland at the #1 Osprey nest. Mum and wee one are enjoying some nice fish – regardless. This Mum really does like her fish. She fills up Only Bob, he goes into food coma, she moves the fish and has a really nice lunch! Well done.

It was raining – at times pouring- at the western Finnish nest #4 of Ahti and Nuppu today, too. Nuppu keeping the osplet dry and warm. All appears to be fine on this nest.

The Osplets at the Fortis Exshaw nest had a huge meal today. Just look at the size of the crops! Looks like it has swallowed a small baseball – or large golf ball – each.

It was not a good day for fledging at the Mispillion Harbour Osprey nest. Looks like they were getting some rain and wind.

And a swing to California where Annie and Alden were once again pair bonding in the scape! That should put a smile on your face! Thanks Cal Falcons. Annie initiated the bonding calling Alden…

Thanks for being with me today. Send all your best wishes to Victor and hope, beyond hope, that Dr Sharpe can find people to help him rescue Victor should this be required. Take care all. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and FB pages where I took my screen captures: Explore.org and The Institute for Wildlife Studies, Channel Islands Eagle Lovers, GROWLS, Friends of Lark Arkaig and the Woodland Trust Fortis Exshaw Canmore, Mispillion Harbour Ospreys, Chesapeake Conservancy, and Saaksilvie.

Update on Little Bit ND17, Victor and other brief news in Bird World

9 July 2022

Humane Wildlife Indiana provided an update on Little Bit 17 this morning. Two things they note: Little Bit has stress lines in his feathers. I have mentioned this before. It is common in birds that have gone without food for the amount of time Little Bit did and also perhaps, the lack of nice fish and having to eat fur. Of course, then there is the stress from the siblings. Little Bit has each of you knows did not have an easy life on that nest. That is why we are all cheering him on and surprised that he lived. It is unfortunate that the clinic has to put up with people interrupting the important work they are doing to try and see him. I note that US Steel did not give the name of the rehab clinic that picked up USS5. Perhaps that is a protocol that all should adopt.

Yesterday I posted an image of WBSE 27 who spent more than 6 months in care – for a second time. Most rehabbers will say it takes a long time to train an eagle to fly and to hunt prey. It is very important that the last part of the training is undertaken. If the bird cannot hunt, he cannot feed himself. Other eaglets have also been released in prey rich areas away from the natal nest when their siblings are free flying with the parents.

Oh, Little Bit. Do you know how much you are loved? Wishing you lots of quail and fish, a long and productive stay in rehab, and…if you can’t fly, a wonderful place where you can be an ambassador bird.

Little Bit 17 has extensive stress lines. You can see them easily. Was it from lack of food? lack of nutrition in the food? psychological stress? or all of the above and more?

I found a a short article and video on stress bars that go into a little more detail. For those of you that own parrots, you might have looked for these when you were either purchasing or adopting your bird.

A short video showing you stress bars and what causes them.

Little bit 17 has also made the news.

https://www.southbendtribune.com/story/news/2022/07/08/eaglet-falls-nest-st-patricks-county-park-wildlife-rehab-st-joseph-county-indiana-south-bend/7829560001/?fbclid=IwAR1e7LcSdiSd5Y7-0PY-i68vjfaT6UxIttZnBVhixmKTmjGRoTGqESLkYE4

The nest at ND-LEEF is disintegrating despite the fact that the adults continue to use it to deliver fish. This is a clear demonstration of how important the natal nest is for the fledglings. Most parents prefer to feed the fledglings on the nest. It is absolutely clear that Little Bit 17 could never have made it to the nest.

It is a very cute first hatch and Audrey is an old hand at taking care of osplets. So sweet. Here is Tom and Audrey’s first hatch of their second clutch enjoying a nice fish lunch around 1230. Holding that head up nice and strong.

It is not clear what is ‘wrong’ with Victor on the Fraser Point Bald Eagle nest. He has definitely injured himself. He is not just tired.

There is chatter about a missing talon on the left foot. It is very hard to see in this image because of the angle but that looks like a possibility. However, I am reminded that Ervie had a missing talon and he was still flying, standing, and catching puffers.

There is a small fish under Victor. He cannot stand to self-feed. He is really, really struggling and it would appear that he is not able to stand – at the moment – for any period of time. Mama Cruz we need you to feed Victor his lunch!

Continue to send positive wishes to Victor.

Oh, oh. Mama Cruz is in but she is feeding Lillibet. It is a tiny fish. Will there be any left for Victor?

Last year at Osoyoos it was hot and the chicks died. This year there has been so much rain in the area and flooding that it might have impacted the fish. Hoping for some nice big meals on the nest for the two chicks and Mum today.

Dory and Skiff’s trio are doing great at the Boathouse on Hog Island. The kids are growing like weeds and I am completely impressed with this first time Mum. Just like I am with CJ7 at Poole Harbour. Fantastic to see Little Bob getting bigger.

Here is CJ7 and Blue 022 with their two very healthy and very big offspring. Wow. I am so happy for CJ7 and Blue 022 – it was one of those romances that everyone wanted to blossom – and for all the people involved in the translocation programme. A big shout out to Roy Dennis.

This is a very brief look at some of the nests we are watching. Continue to send warm wishes to Osoyoos and Fraser Point. Thank you for joining me this morning. Take care. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages: Humane Indiana Wildlife, Chesapeake Conservancy, Explore.org and The Institute for Wildlife Studies, Osoyoos Ospreys, Explore.org and Audubon, and Poole Harbour Ospreys.

Late Saturday and early Sunday in Bird World

16-17 April 2022

The garden rabbit, Hedwig, came for a visit this morning. He stayed under the peony bush for about an hour. Six years ago, a mother rabbit left her one month old baby, under that peony bush when it was blooming. The wee bunny lived on the seeds dropped down from the feeders preferring them to the grass or twigs. Whether or not this is the original Hedwig is, of course, questionable but, they all wind up being called Hedwig!

Hedwig often stays back underneath the square hanging feeder where the birds are generous in what they throw overboard. By coming and staying at the Peony Bush it allowed us to enjoy seeing him a lot better. Thank you, Hedwig! It is always nice to see you.

The youngest of the West End eaglets is back up with its siblings and Thunder and Akecheta thanks to Dr Sharpe of the Institute for Wildlife Studies who had gone up to repair the camera and wound up with a rescue to do as well.

The sun rained gold down on the three of them as it set on the Channel Islands.

Jasper had a tremendous fledge. No hesitation, just flew yesterday morning. She returned hungry and tired! Flying uses a lot of energy.

The AEF did a nice video capture of that first flight.

Jasper and Rocket seemed to be happy with one another’s company. It will not be long until Rocket fledges – indeed, he could be flying as I write this!

The Dyfi Osprey Project posted some excellent information on incubation and egg development for Ospreys this morning that I want to share with you. Did you know that each of the eggs is a little smaller and lighter than the first so they do not have to develop so long?

The little crackerjack at the University of Florida Osprey nest reminds me of Ervie so much. He isn’t intimidated at all by the big siblings and is right up there eating at the front most of the time.

Stop for a second and look at the heads of the two eldest and even Little Bit. They are starting to enter the Reptilian Phase.

That light coat of down is now giving way (10-12 days) to the darker wool down. They will have dark heads that look almost like they have been dipped in a vat of black oil soon. You will also notice the distinctive coppery colour to the back of the neck also. There will be a period of substantial growth between 15-30 days. In his book, A Life of Ospreys, Roy Dennis notes that blood feathers are often seen coming in at 21 days. Sadly, there is no information on when these wee ones hatched so we more or less have to go by their change in plumage.

The chicks are well behaved. There is another large chunk of fish this morning just like yesterday. All will be fed til they are full. This is a fantastic Mum! She feeds them slow and deliberate. She is quickly getting on the list of amazing Osprey Mums.

The wee chicks of Mr North and Mrs DNF have grown leaps and bounds. My goodness. Forget to check a nest for a couple of days and there is a complete change in development. It is a reminder to us of how fast these birds have to grow between hatching and fledgling!

The two eaglets of Liberty and Guardian still have some of that soft baby down, like the eaglets at Decorah North, on the top of their heads and are doing fantastic. It is so nice to go through the nests and find that all of the eaglets and their parents are OK especially with Avian Flu making its way around North America this spring.

Little Middle has decided to sleep on the remaining fish in the nest. Oh, goodness. Look at the size of that leg! Little Middle is doing very well. No worries.

If any of you were worried about the beaking going on at the MN-DNR nest about a week or so ago (time does fly by quickly), there really is no cause to alarm. Both of the eaglets are doing well. The nest survived the wind and the storm nicely and both were happy eating away this morning.

Cholyn and Chase’s wee babe at the Two Harbours nest in the Channel Islands is growing and doing well – as expected with these very experienced parents. I love the crib rails around the top of that nest. Wish we could get some made for the West End nest of Thunder and Akecheta.

I know that many of you are Tom and Audrey fans from the Chesaepeake Conservancy Osprey nest. Did you know that there is a great book showing Tom and Audrey and their nest along with the fostering of chicks there? It is a remarkable story with oodles of images in a nice hardback binding.

Here is the link to Tom and Audrey’s streaming cam:

The Glaslyn nests are settled. Mrs G looks quite content today perched on the nest she shares with Aran.

Pip watch begins later this week for the first of Big Red’s four eggs!

Here is the information about the chat that opens on Monday the 18th for the Cornell Red-tail Hawk cam. All are welcome. The moderators are excellent and they keep the focus on the birds. They also post some very interesting historical and current information about the nest. Everyone is welcome.

This was really a hop and a jump around some of the nests late Saturday and early this morning. Everyone seems to be doing very well, indeed. Such a joy. Tomorrow we will learn the name of Annie’s New Guy. There should be some more eggs on those UK Osprey nests and I am personally looking forward to getting closer to pip watch for Big Red.

Thank you so much for joining me. Take care everyone. Be kind to one another. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams and/or FB pages where I took my screen captures: UFL-Gainesville Ospreys, DHEC, Cornell Bird Lab RTH, Chesapeake Conservancy, MN-DNR, Redding Eagles, Explore.org, NEFlorida-AEF, Dyfi Osprey Project, and Brywd Gwyllt Glaslyn.

Saturday in Bird World

Are you having Peregrine Falcon withdrawal since the Collins Street kids and Yurruga fledged? Did you know that there are a pair of falcons living in Baltimore, Maryland that do not migrate? Their names are Barb and Boh. Barb will lay her eggs in March (normally) but for now the camera is live every day! The history of the scrape is located on the web cam page.

Urban hawks are very fascinating as are the amount of wildlife that exist in the very large urban parks such as Central Park in NYC. I always recommend this site. There are some good videos on Cedar Waxwings and the Peregrine Falcons as well as the RTH’s. The blog is run by Bruce Yolton who is extremely knowledgable. Check it out if you are interested in how wildlife survives in some major cities like New York.

https://www.urbanhawks.com/

There is also an Osprey streaming cam in Maryland that you should have on your radar. It is the home of Tom and Audrey 2 on the property of The Harrison Family.

This Osprey family, Tom and the original Audrey, were the subject of a book full of wonderful images, Inside An Osprey’s Nest. A Photographic Journey through Nesting Season. The images and text are for year 2015 when Tom and Audrey became adoptive parents – twice! The story is as good as the images showing the arrival of the two chicks to the nest and then, a little later, another chick lands on the nest and wants to be part of the family.

The eggs of Tom and Audrey are determined to be non-viable. The eldest two nestlings are removed from a nest with four chicks. Imagine Audrey’s surprise when she returns to her nest from a break to find not three eggs but two chicks and an egg. It is a very heart-warming story!

One of our readers asked if I would share some information from that big book on Australian birds of prey – and the answer is definitely yes! It is too difficult to find that volume and too expensive to purchase but, oh so wonderful to share! We will work our way through Australian birds of prey!

The latest news on two peregrine falcons that we are watching – Grinnell, the mate of Annie at UC-Berkeley’s Campanile – and Yurruga, the recent fledge at Orange is no news. The last posting from UC Falcons is that the interloper male appeared briefly on the ledge and was greeted by Annie. It was raining in Orange. Diamond and Xavier were about but Yurruga was not seen. He could be in the trees staying quiet out of the weather. Perhaps he will be spotted today.

The boys at the Port Lincoln Osprey Barge are doing fine. Bazza decided to be a little aggressive when he received one of the morning fish deliveries from dad. Afraid that Ervie might steal his late breakfast, Bazza decided to mantle and then thrust himself at Ervie just to make sure Ervie understood.

Bazza was very quick to protect its fish and mantle Ervie. The mantling is not the problem it is that beak. They can do a lot of damage to one another if they decide that is what is necessary.

Bazza finally settles and goes back to eating his fish.

Later. All is forgotten. Simply beautiful fledglings. Falky is on the right, Bazza with his great crest is on the left and Ervie is behind with his sat-pak.

Someone said that Falky had a wing or feather injury but I can see nothing to indicate that in these images. Falky is definitely one beautiful elegant bird. He has really come into himself in terms of flying. I also hear rumours that Ervie is trying his hand at fishing. Wonderful!

Just beautiful. Sometimes I just stare at these three boys. What joy they gave to us this year. I wish each had a sat-pak because we get so attached to them and then – poof. Nothing. What happened? Rather than think things are well, I like to know. If something happens, then we need to deal with it. Like Solly’s electrocution. Put the protectors on the poles. It is simple.

As we prepare for Bald Eagle season, I want to stop and say that there are so many many nests. You have your favourites and I have mentioned mine in the last few days. Some of the first eggs that will hatch belong to M15 and Harriet at the SWFlorida Eagle nest in Fort Myers on the property of the D Pritchett family. Those eggs are set to hatch from the 25-28 of December. They are an experienced family with little trauma – the GHOW being the exception. If you are after an eagle family to watch, SW Florida should be your first go to this season. There are three cameras. You can find the others on YouTube.

Ithaca, New York is the same temperature as the Canadian prairies today, 0. Yes, it warmed up and the sun is out! Ferris Akel’s tour is live at the moment. He is on Wildlife Drive and it is snowing but he did find some beautiful swans.

If you are reading this at the right time you can still join the tour. On Thursday Ferris found Big Red and Arthur on the Cornell Campus. Maybe he will do the same today!

I am also happy to report that so far, knock on wood, Dyson has not found the new feeder for Little Woodpecker! Yippee.

Take care everyone. Thank you for joining me today. I hope you have a marvellous Saturday. See you soon.

Thank you to the following for their streaming cams where I took my screen shots: Port Lincoln Osprey Project and Ferris Akel.